Ethical problems related to Euthanasia

Ethical problems related to Euthanasia
Executive Summary
The purpose of this study is to analyse the ethical issues of euthanasia by perceiving this action
through various theories related to ethics and morality. This case study is inspired by an article
published in the BBC (“Ethical problems of euthanasia”). The major theories that have been
considered in this case study are consequentialism, utilitarianism, egoism and the deontological
perspective. By viewing the act of voluntary euthanasia through various ethical theories the
researcher was able to learn that even though these theories do not necessarily prescribe
voluntarily euthanasia but they do seem to support this act if it is at all required. The researcher
has also highlighted another article published in the BBC which shows a terminally ill patient
filing for voluntary euthanasia. The study revealed that many people all over the world do
support the act of voluntary euthanasia and do not consider it as unethical. The underlying reason
behind this fact is that this act provides freedom from pain to not only the sufferer but also the
closed ones who are distressed by seeing the former wreathing in agonizing pain. Therefore,
even though some might argue that voluntary euthanasia is equivalent to assisted killing and
should not be legalized, there are many who perceive this action to be absolutely justified and
ethical and therefore have given their verdict in favour of legalizing this action. 
Argument regarding the will to live and die has raged over the last decade since Dr. Kevorkian
was convicted for assisting a lot of people to commit suicide by administering lethal injections
(Johnson, 1999). The question regarding how ethical, physical assisted suicide is to the life of
human beings is still debated by many. However, in each of those discussions everyone seemed
to hit a dead end. After the development of technology and subsequent creation of organized
websites, people have frequently discussed about the pros and cons of euthanasia (E. J. Emanuel,
Fairclough and L. L. Emanuel, 2000). Such platforms have provided people with the opportunity
to interact, learn, connect, and express their beliefs regarding this controversial issue on a global
stage. Some believe that the practice of euthanasia should be made legal for the terminally ill
patients whereas some question the ethical nature of this activity (Materstvedt, et al., 2003). This
sets forth one and only question and that is, should euthanasia be legalized? It is with regards to
this question that the researcher will attempt to analyze the ethical issues of euthanasia, inspired
from an article published in BBC (“Ethical problems of euthanasia”) (BBC, 2014a), by taking
standpoints of several ethical philosophies.
Euthanasia as a topic has not been discussed much by philosophers up until recently when this
topic has grabbed the attention of major proportion of the global population. Up until this point,
what have been discussed very often are cases related to suicide, which as an action raises
similar ethical issues as euthanasia. The moral identicalness between suicide and voluntary
euthanasia allows researchers and academic scholars to make a sensible guess about the
perceptions of famous philosophers regarding voluntary euthanasia.
Conventional theories have always aimed to identify the appropriate criterion that defines
morally correct action. Such theories can be classified into two separate groups: the ones which
state that the right action is always the one that provides the best output and the others which
state that the right actions are not always the ones that provide the best result (Shultz and
Brender‐Ilan, 2004). The former theory is consequentialist while the latter is deontological.
Consequentialist theories can be further classified into egoistic theories and universalistic
theories. While the former sees those consequences that matter morally as involving only 
consequences for the active person, the latter sees consequences for the ones who are affected
(Jacobson, 2008).
The first question that may prompt ones thought process is what defines a good consequence.
This question introduced a robust concept called utilitarianism consequences which are referred
to as the feeling of simple happiness which is characterized by pleasure of liberty from bodily
pain and suffering of various sorts (Mulgan, 2001). The researcher in this case will study the
ethical issue of euthanasia by taking standpoints of the ethical or morality of action theories
defined above.
Consequentialism & Utilitarianism perspective
Both ideal utilitarian and hedonist theory will argue that voluntary euthanasia is a justified
action. The hedonistic utilitarian would state that circumstances may crop up when a person‟s
life or rather the existence of the body brings more pain when compared to pleasure to not only
the p 

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